Blog Entry

Braves News, Francoeur Trade, and More

Posted on: July 12, 2009 12:40 am
 
Hello again fellow Braves fans.  It has been awhile since I last put up a fresh blog, but this time of the year is a relaxing time for me personally and now all that is done it is time to get back to blogging. 

I guess the news of the week and top banter for Braves beat writers and local sports moguls will be the trade of Jeff Francoeur on Friday.  While I am not in disagreement with the trade nor am I shocked by it, it is a little suprising that the Braves would trade him within the division. Not only within the division, but to your arch rivals up in Flushing.  Though I doubt, this may come back to haunt the Braves in a big way because of the fact that Francouer does have the talent (.293 19 HRs, and 105 RBIs in 2007 and .260 29HRs, and 103 RBIs in 2006) and if he ever gets in with a hitting coach that can get him right (Andruw Jones scenario in Texas anyone?) then he could be able to live up to the potential he had labeled on him coming out of the minors.  Given the current regime in NY, I seriously doubt we will see this in 2009.  However, next year will get very interesting in Flushing.  It is no secret with the Mets struggles that both manager Jerry Manuel and GM Omar Minaya are on the hot seat with Owner Fred Wilpon.  If the Mets continue to falter and lose ground in the NL East again, then major changes will commence in 2010.  If a hitting coach comes in and elevates Francoeur's game and the Mets win, then Frank Wren will be viewed as the man who helped the rival Mets beat our beloved Braves.  I am thouroughly surprised the Mets gave up (and the fact the Braves received anything of value for Jeff) Ryan Church.  I don't think Church is a superstar or a difference maker, but he is a nice piece.  Nice move so far.  Only time will tell what happens here. 

Jeff in the Big Apple

The Braves have been playing well as of late, 6-4 in their last 10, and it has to be a pleasant surprise to see Martin Prado and Matt Diaz getting playing time and contributing. Keep this up and once Chipper, Mac, and Yunel get going again and the consistency of Garret and Nate as of late the Braves will be looking better going into the second half.  Of course they still need a big bat and it looks as if 1B might be where the Braves can look too.  More on this in the next blog as we dissect final trade candidates going into the deadline.

Sweeping the Phillies was great and taking 2 of 3 from the Cubs was definitely nice. (Who else is tired of seeing Cubs fans act like they are on the same stature as the Red Sox and Yankees? Me personally I wish they would just go back to irrelevancy because last time I checked it has still been 100 years and counting since they last won a WS and over 60 years since they last won a pennant.)  However, the Braves need to find a way to handle the Nationals.  Since the start of 2008 the Braves are 16-16 vs Washington.  For a team that will probably lose 100 games, the Braves must beat them and losing 2 out of 3 is not going to cut it. Gotta get better with that going into the second half. 

Good prospect news as it was announced last week that future Atlanta Braves Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman were promoted from advanced A Myrtle Beach to AA Mississippi.  Don't be surprised to see both in Atlanta during September call ups.  Remember this is where Chipper Jones, Ryan Klesko, Javy Lopez, Andruw Jones, and David Justice came up and made their marks early and earned spots in Atlanta for the future. 

The week ahead sees the Braves heading into the All-Star break with a chance to get at .500 on Sunday against the Rockies.  Then it is wish BMac all the luck in the mid-summer classic and enjoying three restful days back in Atlanta.  At the end of the week the Mets and former Brave Jeff Francoeur are in town to open the second half in a 4 game set.  Heres hoping the Braves can get off to a fast start and put some distance between them and the Mets and setting sites on the Phillies and Marlins for the remainder of the season.


Comments

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: July 18, 2009 2:38 pm
 

Braves News, Francoeur Trade, and More

Oh.



Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: July 17, 2009 6:28 pm
 

Braves News, Francoeur Trade, and More

It's Friday but I haven't seen any trade yet. Just sayin.



Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: July 14, 2009 6:52 pm
 

Braves News, Francoeur Trade, and More

I see no point in this trade and doubt that it will actually happen. 



Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: July 13, 2009 10:35 pm
 

Braves News, Francoeur Trade, and More

The Golden Child has ben given the golden booth.


Good luck Jeff Francoer you brought this up on yourself.





Since: Dec 24, 2008
Posted on: July 13, 2009 7:02 pm
 

Braves News, Francoeur Trade, and More

Baseball is a game of adjustments. Pitchers adjusted to Frenchy and he didint adjust back, So the braves asked him to change something. Its a simple as that. I like Jeff and i hope he does well but he needed to go. To many times have i seen him blow it with runners in scoring position and frankly i was tired of it...



Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: July 13, 2009 11:21 am
 

Braves News, Francoeur Trade, and More

hobie, I see exactly what you are saying.  In retrospect the Braves totally mishandled Jeff Francouer.  They actually brought him up a year too early and then when he did fairly well in 06 and 07, the Braves put too much pressure on him to be a 40HR guy and asked him to change the way he approached hitting.  He beefed up just before last season as to provide the missing power that the depature of Andurw Jones brought about.  When he wasn't able to do that in the first half of last season, they had all sorts of "experts" telling him to change the way he hit.  When this didn't work they sent him down to AA to work on the fundamentals and then, acting in desperation because of the thought they could actually compete in the NL East, brought him back 3 days later. 

Going into 2009, the entire Braves season was thrust upon Jeff.  The Braves pretty much lived or died by how he played.  Now with that said, Jeff took this to heart and went elsewhere to get his head and swing right.  All throughout the winter we heard that Jeff was approaching hitting much better and would have a rebound season.  Unfortunately it wasn't Terry Pendleton or Bobby Cox who oversaw his off-season transformation, but that of another organization was helping him.  This hitting coach tought Jeff about being patient and going with the pitch.  Learn how to hit the pitch and then eventually the power will come.  In the beginning, this was working for Jeff.  However, after a slump in late April/Early May, we started noticing Jeff reverting back to his old self.  Many have blamed Pendleton for this and even the coach that helped him in the offseason has asked why did he get away from what was working.  My thought is that it is not entirely Pendleton's fault, those he does bare some responsibility.  He took offense personally for Jeff not seeking his help in the offseason and it was his instruction that was causing Jeff to go back to his old ways.  In short, it was the entire Braves organization who mishandled Jeff and will eventually come back to bite them in the end whether by his play or at the ticket booth with fans. The Braves needed Jeff to be a power hitter and taking pitches the other way was not cutting it for them.  Jeff felt pressured to produce power and went back to his swing first mentality.  This is all suspicion and by no means a factual occurance.  But let me point two things out for the readers.  First, it is no secret the Braves were frustrated with Francouer.  Second, and I know it is only two games, but look how more loose and relxed Jeff looked this weekend in NY.  He will have no pressure to produce as the top guy there because of David Wright and Carlos Beltran sharing those duties.  Plus with Jose Reyes returning and Luis Castillo sharing the fans dissatisfaction with Reyes, Jeff will not have that much fan pressure put on him.  Look for him to return to his off season approach and if he succeeds, well then Frank Wren will be the most hated man in Atlanta. 

For the record let me state that even though I agree with a trade involving Jeff and that I was not shocked by the trade; I was still a supporter of his.  When the fans started getting on him about his play, but were not saying the same about Kelly Johnson, I stood up for Jeff.  When the team sent him down for 3 days last summer, I went after Frank Wren and Bobby Cox.  When Jeff and his agent talked about a long term deal and the Braves not being more willing, I took his side because the Braves were marketing Jeff as the future and its only fair he share in the wealth of that marketing campaign.  Even through all of his struggles I took his side, because he had a track record of coming back.  I think a change of scenary will do him very well.  I just wish it wasn't in NY.  Btw....let it be known that he will be the only Met that I will ever cheer for.  I hope he turns it around and when a new owner takes over sometime in 2011 or later and Frank Wren becomes history as hopefully some other parts of management are too, then hopefully Jeff will come back at some point. 




Since: Apr 14, 2008
Posted on: July 12, 2009 11:11 pm
 

Braves News, Francoeur Trade, and More

i don't realy get this trade. When the braves brought him up after he had his great rookie year and even after he had his aweful year last year and was sent down to AA, they said that he was going to be the beginning of the next chapter the same thing they are saying about Ryan Church that he's going to be be a good addition in the future. Already being 30 years old it's not like he's going to be the next Chipper. Francour didn't realy meet the Braves expectations but he didn't do that bad. His stick wasn't that great but his glove and arm is hard to find another like it.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com